|Publication number||US5537299 A|
|Application number||US 08/402,815|
|Publication date||Jul 16, 1996|
|Filing date||Mar 13, 1995|
|Priority date||Mar 13, 1995|
|Publication number||08402815, 402815, US 5537299 A, US 5537299A, US-A-5537299, US5537299 A, US5537299A|
|Inventors||Harold D. Perry|
|Original Assignee||Peter Anton|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (9), Classifications (11), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to vehicle lights, and in particular to a multiple light system for watercraft.
2. Description of the Related Art
Light systems are well-known and various types have heretofore been devised for meeting the requirements of particular lighting applications. For example, vehicles of various types typically have lighting systems for specialized purposes associated with their operation. Such purposes can include collision avoidance, for which many vehicles carry running lights of various configurations so that they are clearly visible to other vehicles.
Such light systems may be required for vehicle operation. For example, maritime regulations, such as those promulgated by the U.S. Coast Guard, specify the location, size, output and color of watercraft running lights. Such regulations tend to provide a degree of uniformity in watercraft lighting whereby watercraft operators can more quickly recognize other watercraft at night and take appropriate measures to avoid colliding with them. Hence, by regulation watercraft operated at night are required to display a bow light with a red light on the port (left) side and a green light on the starboard (right) side so that observance of such a light from other watercraft provides an indication of the direction of travel.
Other types of watercraft lighting systems serve different purposes, e.g., to illuminate areas external to the watercraft. Heretofore, relatively high output lights have been provided on the bows of boats to function in a manner similar to headlights on a road vehicle. However, Coast Guard regulations restrict the use of such lights to avoid impairing the vision of other watercraft operators.
Search lights and floodlights have also been mounted on watercraft, but typically they are intended for more general purposes as opposed to illuminating the area directly ahead of a boat. Lighting can become important in docking a boat and in launching and retrieving a boat with a trailer at a loading ramp. In the case of recreational watercraft which are often trailered to and from the boat loading ramps at public marinas, retrieval operations onto trailers after dark are fairly common. However, problems can arise with docking and trailer-loading operations due to the inadequacies of most navigation lights in providing sufficient illumination. Such operations could often be accomplished more safely and efficiently with adequate bow lighting, provided such lighting could be activated independently of the bow navigational or running lights in order to comply with Coast Guard regulations and to avoid obscuring the visibility of the bow navigational light.
The bow areas of many boats can be limited in space for mounting additional equipment, such as lighting systems. For example, recreational watercraft often have trolling motors, individual seats for fishing, etc. mounted in the bow areas thereof. Moreover, such equipment may have to be removed in order to place a cover over a boat for protecting it during periods of non-use. For this reason the red/green bow navigational lights of many watercraft are often mounted on removable masts or standards to facilitate covering and storing the boats during periods of non-use.
Therefore, an effective watercraft docking light should not interfere with the boat navigation lights, should be out of the way of other equipment and should provide effective illumination of an area in front of the boat. The present invention address the aforementioned problems related to watercraft lighting systems. Heretofore there has not been available a multiple lighting system for watercraft with the advantages and features of the present invention.
In the practice of the present invention, a multiple light system is provided for mounting on the bow of a watercraft. The multiple light system includes a navigational light assembly with a mast or standard mounting a navigational light. An auxiliary light is mounted on the mast by a light mounting assembly which includes an extension bracket. The auxiliary light is electrically coupled to the mast-mounted navigation light and a switch is provided on the extension bracket for selectively disabling the auxiliary light.
The principles objects and advantages of the present invention include: providing a multiple light system; providing such a light system for watercraft; providing such a light system with a docking light adapted for mounting on an existing mast-mounted navigation light assembly; providing such a light system with an auxiliary light assembly which is adapted to be easily retrofit on an existing light assembly; providing such a light system wherein the auxiliary light is electrically connected to an existing light assembly; providing such a light system which facilitates docking operations; providing such a light system which facilitates-loading and unloading a watercraft with a trailer; providing such a light system which can be selectively disabled independently of the navigational light; providing such a light system wherein the auxiliary light can be positioned out of the way of other equipment; and providing such a light system which is economical to manufacture, efficient in operation and particularly well-adapted for the proposed usage thereof.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth, by way of illustration and example, certain embodiments of this invention.
The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.
FIG. 1 is an upper, side perspective view of a multiple light system embodying the present invention, shown mounted on the bow of a boat.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof, particularly showing the electrical interconnection of a navigation light assembly and an auxiliary light.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, exploded, perspective view of the light system, particularly showing a light mounting assembly for mounting an auxiliary light.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevational view thereof, particularly showing the connections of electrical leads to contacts of a light bulb.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, exploded perspective view of an electrical connection system for an alternative type of navigational light bulb.
I. Introduction and Environment
As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.
Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience in reference only and will not be limiting. For example, the words "upwardly" , "downwardly", "rightwardly" and "leftwardly" will refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words "inwardly" and "outwardly" will refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the embodiment being described and designated parts thereof. Said terminology will include the words specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of a similar import.
Referring to the drawings in more detail, the reference numeral 2 generally designates a multiple light system embodying the present invention. The multiple light system 2 generally comprises a mast-mounted light assembly 4, a light mounting assembly 6 and an auxiliary or additional light 8.
The multiple light system 2 is shown mounted on a boat 3 near the bow 5 thereof, which can include a deck 7 with a light mast mounting plate 9, through which the multiple light system 2 can be inserted for connection to an electrical system of the boat 3.
II. Mast-Mounted Light Assembly 4
The mast-mounted light assembly 4 includes a tubular mast or standard 10 with a lower end 12 which can include an end plug 14 for connection to an electrical system of the boat 3 and an upper end 16 mounting a mast-mounted navigation light 18. The mast or standard 10 includes a slight bend at 20, but could also have a straight configuration.
The mast-mounted light 18 includes a housing 22 mounted on the mast or standard upper end 16 and mounting a lens 24 for directionally emitting light from a socket-type bulb 26 with electrical contacts 28a, 28b. The bulb 26 can be either a replacement for or a modification of a conventional socket-type bulb which is normally utilized in navigation lights such as that shown at 18. The mast-mounted light 18 can comprise a navigation or running light with the lens 24 being divided into a green (starboard) portion and a red (port) portion consistent with conventional maritime practice.
III. Light Mounting Assembly 6
The light mounting assembly 6 includes an extension bracket 30 with a generally rectilinear configuration having proximate and distal ends 32, 34, upper and lower surfaces 36a, 36b and opposite side edges 38.
A mast receiver 40 extends between the extension bracket surfaces 36a, 36b and is open at a slot 42 which extends from the mast receiver 40 to the bracket proximate end 32. A clamp bolt receiver 44 extends transversely through the extension bracket 30 between its side edges 38 and through the slot 42 intermediate the mast receiver 40 and the bracket proximate end 32. The receiver 44 receives a clamp bolt 46 which threadably mounts a clamp nut 48 for providing clamp means whereby the extension bracket 30 is slidably and rotatably mounted on the mast 10.
A switch receiver 50 extends through the extension bracket 30 intermediate the mast receiver 40 and the distal 34 end thereof. The switch receiver 50 includes a counterbore 52 open at the extension bracket lower surface 36b. A bolt receiver 54 is provided in proximity to the extension bracket 30 distal end 34 and extends between the bracket upper and lower surfaces 36a, 36b.
First and second electrical leads 56, 58 are electrically connected to the bulb electrical contacts 28a, 28b respectively (FIG. 4) and are provided with respective push-type electrical connectors 60 for disengagement of the electrical leads 56, 58 whereby the entire light mounting assembly 6 and the auxiliary light 8 can be separated from the mast 10.
A single pole, single throw (SPST) toggle switch 62 is provided in series with the second electrical lead 58 and includes a toggle extension 64 with male threads for receiving a toggle switch mounting nut 66 with the toggle extension 64 extending through the switch receiver 50 and the toggle switch mounting nut 66 received in the counterbore 52.
IV. Auxiliary Light 8
The auxiliary light 8 can be used as a docking light and for this purpose can comprise a halogen quartz bulb 72 mounted in a housing 74 and electrically connected to the leads 56, 58, the latter via the toggle switch 62. The auxiliary light 8 has a clevis 76 with a mounting bolt 78 descending downwardly therefrom and rotatably received in the bolt receiver 54. The bolt 78 mounts a washer 80 and threadably mounts a mounting nut 82. The housing 74 is mounted on the clevis 76 by an axle bolt 84 and an axle nut 86 which permit adjustment of the orientation of the auxiliary light 8 by rotation with respect to a horizontal axis extending coaxially through the axle bolt 84.
V. Installation and Operation
The bracket 30 can be installed on an existing mast-mounted light assembly. Alternatively, the entire light system 2 can comprise a single unit.
For purposes of retrofitting to an existing bow light, the mast-mounted light assembly 4 can be removed by extracting the mast 10 from the plate or socket 9. The extension bracket 30 can then be slid over the mast 10 for clamping thereto by means of the clamp bolt and nut 46, 48. The extension bracket 30 permits rotation on the mast 10 for providing illumination where needed, e.g., directly ahead, off to a side, back into the vessel, etc. Moreover, the light mounting assembly 6 can be vertically adjusted on the mast 10.
The mast-mounted housing 22 can be modified by drilling a hole 75 in a lower portion thereof for the leads 56, 58.
VI. Modified Electrical Leads for Connection to an Alternative Bulb
FIG. 5 shows an alternative bulb 88 with electrical contacts 90a, 90b on the ends thereof for conductive receipt in electrical conductors 92a, 92b respectively of an alternative embodiment, mast-mounted navigational light assembly. For connecting the auxiliary light 8 to the alternative bulb 88, first and second electrical leads 94, 96 are provided with end loops 98 which slide over the bulb contacts 90a, 90b for making electrical contact therewith. The leads 94, 96 terminate at electrical connectors 100 for connection to electrical connectors 60 as described above.
It will be appreciated that various other types of electrical connection and retrofit arrangements could be provided for adapting the multiple light system 2 of the present invention to a variety of existing navigation lights, or for providing an integral multiple light system with both navigation and docking light capabilities.
It is to be understood that while certain forms of the present invention have been illustrated and described herein, it is not to be limited to the specific forms or arrangement of parts described and shown.
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|U.S. Classification||362/477, 362/430, 362/431, 362/249.12, 362/242, 362/249.11, 362/20|
|International Classification||B60Q1/00, B60Q1/04|
|Oct 6, 1995||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ANTON, PETER, KANSAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PERRY, HAROLD D.;REEL/FRAME:007660/0205
Effective date: 19950301
|Sep 7, 1999||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 15, 2004||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Jan 21, 2008||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jul 16, 2008||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Sep 2, 2008||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20080716